15:53 Mar. 16, 2016
As a number of 'ex-users' increases, Facebook transforms into the world's largest digital graveyard
At some point, there will be more dead Facebook users than living ones – and for those left behind, it is transforming how we experience the death of those around us.
The numbers of the dead on Facebook are growing fast. By 2012, just eight years after the platform was launched, 30 million users with Facebook accounts had died. That number has only gone up since. Some estimates claim more than 8,000 users die each day.
At some point in time, there will be more dead Facebook users than living ones. Facebook is a growing and unstoppable digital graveyard.
Many Facebook profiles announce their owners have passed; they are "memorialised". The profile is emblazoned with the word "remembering", and they stop appearing in public spaces, like People You May Know or birthday reminders. But not all Facebook users who have passed away are memorialised.
In the past few years, several tech companies have extended the idea of a digital soul. Eterni.me, launched in 2014, promises to create a digital version of "you" that will live on after your death. Death is certain, admits the website — but what if you could live forever as a digital avatar, "and people in the future could actually interact with your memories, stories and ideas, almost as if they were talking to you?"